European consumers continue to snap up LCD TVs

As the European Union's economy starts to show signs of recovery, television sales in the region are expected to rise this year as consumers continue to snap up LCD TVs, according to a new report from US research firm iSuppli.

“Television sales in Europe will rise to 51.97 million units in 2009, up 3.4 percent from 50.2 million in 2008,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli. “LCD TVs, which will account for 79 percent of the market year, will see their sales rise by a robust 17.5 percent in 2009 to reach 41.1 million units, up from 35 million in 2008.”

According to the European Commission, the index of business and consumer confidence in the Euro zone increased to 69.3 in May, up from 67.2 in April and the highest level since November 2008. Consumer spending has also increased in all major European countries, according to the EC, including France and Germany, and overall the region’s economy is described as having stabilised, but concerns remain about the labour market and rising unemployment rates, which could counter the impact of lower inflation rates on household spending.

The continued growth in Europe's LCD TV market is also attributed by iSuppli to the following factors: increased demand in Eastern Europe for both first-time and replacement buyers; declining prices, which have made televisions attractive for consumers across various income levels; the introduction of new features, such as 100Hz/200Hz refresh rates, and now Light Emitting Diode (LED) backlights; and increased domestic production, which has led to better management of inventories.

CRT and plasma, which continue to lose ground in Europe, will suffer a 40.2% decline in sales compounded annually between 2008 and 2013, according to the report. CRT technology is retreating due to a lack of consumer interest, falling brand and retail support and the diminishing price differential between LCD and CRT televisions of similar sizes and features.

During the same time frame, plasma TV sales are forecast to decline at a compounded rate of 16.4%, while LCD TVs will grow at a 11.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach 60.3mn units.